Stuff comes in boxes, and we throw away or recycle most of those boxes. But every once in a while you buy something—fancy chocolates, an expensive bottle of booze, an Apple product—that comes in a box so nice that you can't let it go. Boxes of that sort are created by people like Louise James.
Artisan and bookbinding technician James runs The Binding Studio, a New-Zealand-based shop that produces custom boxes, books and portfolios. While James' capable fingers appear to be the main tools used, she's also got a cool variety of hand tools, stationary machines, implements and jigs that she uses to produce her pieces.
Here she is (with assistant Iranna Ashton) cranking out some bespoke boxes for a client:
And here's what goes into a custom book, from initial sketch working out the math to the finished product:
James has enough experience and skill—just about 15 years' worth—that no matter what you need, she can work out the design and turn it around in a couple of weeks, whether it's a run or a one-off. "There are no standard products," she writes. "Size, colour, embellishments, are all decided by you!"